Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our First Neurodevelopmental Assessment

A Neurodevelopmental Assessment isn't as frightening as it sounds. Basically it consisted of a Developmental Pediatrician and a Physical Therapist playing with my daughter and asking questions for a couple of hours. Both the pediatrician and the PT were very kind to my little girl. In fact the pediatrician kept losing her train of thought while interviewing my wife because my daughter was laughing so loud while "playing" with the physical therapist. Laughter isn't what my wife and I are accustomed to at doctors appointments so it was a very refreshing change.

Basically, the visit was to determine that my little girl does indeed need more physical and occupational therapy above and beyond what she's currently receiving through the public school system. The assessments showed development around the 18 to 24 month mark for her fine and gross motor skills. They also approved additional speech therapy since it's blatantly obvious that she needs help there. She will have a more thorough speech assessment later this month. That will give us more detail about further signing and speech work that she's eligible for.

Now we have referrals in hand so we can bill our health insurance for visits to a physical therapist and occupational therapist. Our coverage needs to be verified, but we're hoping they'll pay for up to 25 visits of PT and 35 visits of OT. Another alternative they gave us was to have the local Shriners Hospital start seeing her for therapy. Visits there would not cost us anything! I'm totally amazed at this considering the great care we've heard of other kids receiving there. What a great organization!

The other great thing that came out of the appointment is that we'll be seeing the Developmental Pediatrician we saw regularly as part of my daughter's team of caregivers. She will be able to help us navigate the complicated world of care and services available to our family. We'll also be continuing to see my little girl's regular pediatrician because he's more convenient when it comes to the everyday illnesses of childhood. More on Developmental Pediatrics will be coming up, but already we're impressed.

And speaking of being impressed, the folks who saw my daughter were very pleased with the behavioral aspects of her development. They told us all about how many children have serious behavioral issues including head banging and screaming at my daughter's age. So we feel fortunate none of that has arisen so far.
A Neurodevelopmental Assessment is a great way to provide new connections and resources for a disabled child's care. It was also one of the rare doctor visits that left my wife excited to move forward instead of stressed and disappointed, like so many other appointments do. Thanks once again to all the amazing care givers at Primary Children's Medical Center!


Candle Ends said...

Was this at the Dept of Health near PCMC? Just wondering if this was the one we had already done or one we get to do.


Nate said...

Hi Josh,

Yes, I should have been more clear about that. (Seems like all the doctors we see practice at all the hospitals up by the U and such.) We were at the State Dept. of Health just to the south of PCMC for the assessment.


Angie said...

Nate & family,

It sure sounds like your care providers have it all together. That's great! It also sounds like your area has facilities that can provide your services that are close by. That is also great. Love the photo with baby brother and I'm glad to hear that it all went well.


Nate said...

Hi Angie,

The docs really do have it all pretty well coordinated with my daughter's care. It helps us out a lot. We really appreciate all the great care especially since we feel like what she's getting in preschool just isn't enough.

Hope all is well with you and your little one!